RVC BIO 104 - Lab Report 1 - Lab Equipment and Measurements reading

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Lab Report 1: Lab Equipment and MeasurementsSection I - ConceptsThe word “science” originates from a Latin verb which means “to know”. Science is not just a collection of random facts obtained from the natural world. The focus of most scientific processes is to answer questions through experimentation in an attempt to understand how the world works and to make predictions about what will happen. We are all natural scientists, though we rarely formalize our actions into the scientific process. For example, if you leave class, go to your car, insert the key and hear a slow “chug, chug, chug” noise, you will start the scientific process. You’ve made an observation. The next step is to try to figure out why the car didn’t roar like usual. Though you haven’t explicitly thought to yourself, “I’m going to hypothesize about what’s happening”, you will formulate possible explanations for your observation. You’ll probably start with the easiest explanation: no gas. You’ll test that explanation by looking at the fuel gauge. If it’s empty, you’ll call a friend to help solve the problem. If it’s not empty, you’ll revise your explanation: maybe it’s the battery. You’ll test that explanation by asking a friend to give your car a jump. If after several minutes of the two cars connected by jumper cables, your car roars to life, the data you’ve collected will support your explanation/hypothesis. The data of your car starting helps you form a conclusion and while the gratitude of not having to spend a fortune washes over you, the scientific method is farthest from your mind. Yet in this common example, we see every step of the scientific method including the necessary social component of help from friends. You are, and always have been a scientist. Throughout the Bio 103 and Bio 104 course, you’re going to formalize your scientific skills. 1Page 1 of 4Scientific information can be obtained by observation and experimentation. Experimentation generates data. We can classify data into two broad categories. Quantitative data is typically large sets of individual numbers which are used to conduct statistical analysis. Qualitative data is typically observations (ex. the car starting after recharging the battery), surveys using the Likert scale (ex. Agree, disagree, etc.) and descriptions. Many of our Bio 104 lab experiments will involve collecting data about color changes which are a form of qualitative data. Scientists are skeptical and critically evaluate conclusions by repeatedly testing with the goal of verifying validity and reliability. Scientists strive for producing objective information that is based on data and clearly supported conclusions, rather than bias and personal beliefs. Therefore, scientists are always testing their own and others’ ideas. Conclusions are based on the best available data at the time. When there are technological advancements and new discoveries, the conclusions can change. In this lab we will gain experience with common tools used in the laboratory to collect data and we’ll start to test our reasoning skills through a simple experiment. Metric SystemIn scientific and industrial fields, a system known as the metric system serves as the universal system of measurement. The metric system is based on units of 10. Conversions between the units of the metric can be achieved by simply shifting placement of the decimal point. The following are the basic units of measurement in this system:Metric Unit MeasurementMeter (m) LengthGram (g) MassLiter (L) VolumeCelsius (oC) Temperature2Page 2 of 4Greek or Latin prefixes are used to denote the change in power of 10. The figure here represents the more commonly used prefixes. The 100 is representative of 1.0 meter, 1.0 gram or 1.0 liter. To convert smaller units into larger units, move the decimal point to the LEFT. To convert larger unties into smaller units, move the decimal point to the RIGHT. An example would be a smaller 2.0 centimeters (10-2) is equal to a larger 0.02 meters (100).English/Metric RelationshipsIn the United States, the English system is used more often when giving details of measurements. A few common units are inch, foot, yard, ounce, pound, teaspoon, gallon and Fahrenheit. When working in science you must convert the English measurement to the Metric system before continuing. The table below shows the most common conversion factors.Length 1 inch = 2.54 cm 1 foot = 30.35 cm 1 mile = 1.6 km 1 yard = 0.91 mMass 1 ounce = 28.3 g 1 pound = 454 gVolume 1 teaspoon = 5 mL 1 gallon = 3.79 L 1 quart = 0.946 L 1 fluid ounce = 30 mLTemperature F = C x 9/5 + 32 C = 5/9 x (F – 32)Measuring Mass and Volume and TemperatureMass is defined as the measure of theamount of matter in an object and is generallymeasured in grams using a scale (balance). When measuring mass, always use a weigh boat to protect the scale. First place the weigh boat on the scale, then press the tare or zero button which causes the scale to subtract the weight of the weigh boat. Volume is defined as the measure of the space occupied by an object. Volume is generally measured using devices like beakers, graduated cylinders and pipettes. When we use beakers, we often 3Page 3 of 4name them according to the total volume they can safely hold. For example, a 400 ml beaker can safely hold 400 ml but we might use it to measure 300 ml of liquid. Liquids, like water, can form a curved meniscus because of surface tension. A meniscus can be concave (curving into the liquid: image A) or convex (curving above the liquid: image B). Thermometers are typically used to measure temperature. In science, temperature is always measured in Celsius. Throughout this course, make sure to convert degrees Celsius to degrees Fahrenheit in order to have a better idea of how hot or cold something is. Science and CookingCooking is science in action with delicious results! Though many of us don’t commonly think of chefs as scientists, the best recipes and meals are a result of the scientific process. If you’ve ever had thebuttery, flakey, slightly crunchy puff pastry surrounding a cherry turnover, holding a scrumptious quiche or layered and dripping with honey in baklava, then you’ve experienced the result of a successful scientific experiment. The recipe for puff pastry is rather simple: 1.25 cups of flour, .25 teaspoon of salt, 5 tablespoons of frozen butter and 5 tablespoons of water. When the

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